Anyone actually know?

So, is it cows that infect badgers with TB or badgers cows?

Or both?

13 thoughts on “Anyone actually know?”

  1. I’m not sure which carries the higher sentence: badgering cows or cowing badgers.

    Of course under sharia both are ok but the meat is halal.

  2. Badgers infect cows who infect badgers – Cows can be kept quarantined, tested and culled so we can minimize herd to herd infection. But Mr Brock wanders from farm to farm without dipping his boots in disinfectant or filling in a movement record. Most farmers would be happy to have healthy badgers as they stop other badgers moving in. But an infected sett means that a herd on that land run a very real risk of being infected.

  3. I reckon The Englishman has it about right. Its a two way street definitely. But we cull the cattle with TB, in order to control the disease, so its right the badgers should be culled too. Unfortunately as they are wild animals we can’t test them first, so the cull has to be more indiscriminate. Its pointless culling all the infected cattle, if the badger population is left full of infection.

  4. The Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB say:

    [C]areful evaluation of our own and others’ data indicates that badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain. Indeed, some policies under consideration are likely to make matters worse rather than better. Second, weaknesses in cattle testing regimes mean that cattle themselves contribute significantly to the persistence and spread of disease in all areas where TB occurs, and in some parts of Britain are likely to be the main source of infection. Scientific findings indicate that the rising incidence of disease can be reversed, and geographical spread contained, by the rigid application of cattle-based control measures alone.”

    The dairy industry disagrees, based on fuck all evidence, because blaming it on badgers is cheaper than moving to responsible farming methods.

  5. I fail to comprehend the continuing barbaric and medieval approach of the farming community and DEFRA (or whatever it’s called this week) to animal welfare.

    What’s the objection to immunising animals? We do it with people, we do it with our pet domestic animals, why not stock?

  6. Immunised cattle can’t be tested for TB which would against… oh go on guess… regulations.
    Badger vaccines are in development and are the great hope for the future. Farmers really don’t like culling carefully built up herds.

  7. Maybe you can’t test them for TB if they’ve been immunised, but so what? If the immunisation is as successfull as it’s been in the UK’s human population I’d venture to suggest that fewer immunised cattle would actually develop full-blown TB than the number that are presently missed by the testing system.

  8. Is it permissible to export the carcasses of livestock which, having been previously vaccinated, can not be certified as free of TB? What about their milk, butter and cheese?

  9. I have yet to see anything that tells me there is a good reason not to routinely immunise the whole UK herd against TB.

    Is meat or milk from immunised cattle dangerous to humans in some way?

    If not, why not just change any regs that get in the way (sticking two fingers up at the EUSSR if needed) and jab the lot and leave the badgers alone?

  10. JohnB, despite the badgers being wild animals, we also have an obligation towards them.

    Have you any idea how terribly badgers suffer when bTB finally (and inevitably) claims them? Have a look here: http://bovinetb.blogspot.com/2006/02/badgers-dont-suffer-from-tb.html

    I hope you can agree with me that with or without cows, in general, bTB is a disaster for the badgers and that leaving them to alone to fester like this is animal abuse.

    Removing the cows is not a solution for the badgers because it will not cure them and it causes lots of other problems for many other wild animals (see the PDF above I referenced) — in a way, the cows are merely a symptom for how badly the badgers are actually doing under our stewardship.

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